UNIX CRON – Shell script errors with [10]: sqlplus: not found

In normal administration of an Oracle RDBMS on UNIX or LINUX operating systems, the DBA will be required to develop shell and SQL scripts to maintain his/her RDBMS. In fact, to be considered a mid to senior DBA you will need to be well versed in scripting at the OS layer. In this article we will review a common error which occurs in a shell script called by CRON due to a lack of properly set variables.

1. In a normal scenario, the DBA has developed a shell script which calls and executes a SQL script to perform a certain maintenance task. In testing, the DBA executes the script as the oracle software owner and the script performs perfectly. However, when placed in the OS CRON for execution, the following error occurs.

[10]: sqlplus: not found

2. The error occurs because the environmental variables are not being read. Thus, the OS does not know where to find the executable: sqlplus.

3. The solution is to update your shell script and hard code the directory structure for the command sqlplus. An example would be if sqlplus is located in the following path /u01/opt/app/oracle/bin then perform the following:





This completes resolving the error message [10]: sqlplus: not found in a shell script called through CRON.

Larry J. Catt, OCP 9i, 10g